From the CFRC Prenatal Zoom Discussions
by Colette Featherstone, Postpartum Doula
Family Tree Doula Services
As a postpartum doula, one of the things I like to help clients think about is preparing their sanctuary for when they arrive home with baby. A thoughtful approach to this time and space can go a long way in helping you heal and bond and become a thriving parent.
Most postpartum prep lists out there include things like asking someone to arrange a meal train, setting up a changing area on each floor or major area of the home, posting a list of chores or things others can do for you. These are so helpful. AND during a global pandemic, it is especially important to be sure that our sanctuary plan includes tending to our emotional support and our relationships with our partner and/or support people.
It can be helpful for the “new baby team” to know that the birthing parent’s energy and attention will be primarily consumed by healing, feeding and tending to the new baby. This shift will be for quite a while but not forever. In light of this shift it, can be helpful to consider the following questions and ideas together.
- How do we each deal with stress? And how do we recognize it in each other?
- How can we help each other cope with that stress when it’s happening?
- What is my and my partner’s love language? (you can Google it for examples and details)
- Establish a plan for daily 3-5 minute check-ins. How will we remind each other and make these happen?
- Who can we call to talk about hard parenting decisions that would be safe and not judgmental?
- How do we want to manage visitors?
- How will we manage technology (devices)? What will it look like to “unplug”?
- What will household responsibilities look like?
- Who can we call if we find we need more help? Make a list with contact info and keep it on the fridge or somewhere handy! (a friend, family member, a therapist, a postpartum doula, a support line (Postpartum Support International: postpartum.net/800-944-4773, etc.)
- What brings us each joy? What’s a simple thing I can do to refill my cup?
*Many of the suggestions above and other helpful tips can be found in the “Creating a postpartum sanctuary plan” chapter of Kimberly Ann Johnson’s book, “The Fourth Trimester”.